COPY-Woman convicted in 1987 kidnapping, murder wants new trial

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) - A woman serving a life sentence for participating in the 1987 kidnapping and murder of the heir to an Illinois media company fortune is seeking a new trial.

Attorneys for 53-year-old Nancy Rish say she was duped into participating in the kidnapping of Stephen Small in an attempt to extort $1 million.

Small, the great-grandson of an Illinois governor, was buried alive in a plywood box and suffocated when a crudely fashioned breathing tube running to the surface failed.

Defense attorney Steve Becker on Friday told Iroquois County Circuit Judge Gordon Lustfeldt that Rish's former boyfriend, Danny Edwards, has signed affidavits indicating she knew nothing of plans.

In arguing against a new trial, Assistant Attorney General Erin O'Connell noted Rish acknowledged at the time she assisted Edwards in the kidnapping.

Lustfeldt made no decision.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.